Calorie Labeling in Restaurants

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
November/December Volume 26, Number 6
©2015 iaedp

Among the many challenges of recovering from an eating disorder is becoming comfortable eating out in restaurants. At the 2015 International Conference on Eating Disorders, Dr. Christina A Roberto of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and Ann Haynas of the University of Nevada, Reno investigated the effects of caloric labels on menus among 633 women (mean age: 22 years). The women had previously completed the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire. Using an online survey, the two researchers presented a representative meal, with and without caloric information. Women with more marked eating disorder symptoms ordered less-calorie-dense meals, were more accurate about estimating calories, and were more distressed by eating out and more inclined to avoid restaurants than were women without symptoms of disordered eating. However, labels listing caloric content did not have an adverse effect on either group.

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